Stanford Football: Walker Little opts out, declares for NFL Draft

The Stanford football program lost perhaps their best player with Walker Little opting out.

The Stanford football program was dealt a major blow when star offensive tackle Walker Little announced that he would be opting out of the 2020 college football season in preparation of the NFL Draft.

Of course, that’s if there even is a 2020 season for the Cardinal.

The Pac-12 won’t be participating in football this fall amidst concerns over COVID-19. But the latest reports indicate that they do plan to play some form of football in the spring, although that remains very much up in the air.

What isn’t up in the air, however, is the status of Walker Little.

A once incredibly promising offensive tackle prospect, Little burst on to the scene as a true freshman in 2017 becoming the first true freshman to start at left tackle for Stanford since Kirk Chambers back in 2000.

Following a standout season, Little was named Pac-12 Freshman Co-Offensive Player of the Year and an ESPN Freshman All-American. The Texas native looked well on his way to stardom and he didn’t slow down the following season.

Little returned in 2018 and while he may not have taken quite the step forward that many expected, he still did well enough to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors.

The Stanford football program was excited about Walker Little going into last season.

Going into 2019, Little was seen as one of the best offensive line prospects in the country and a probable Day 1 NFL Draft pick. And the hope was that he would help lead a Stanford team that experienced quite a bit of turnover on offense — particularly on the offensive line.

Unfortunately, that didn’t go as planned.

In the Cardinal’s season opener against Northwestern, Little went down with a knee injury and had to leave the game early. The injury turned out to be a torn ACL that would end up costing him his entire junior season.

A player who once seemed like a surefire first-round pick and a possible All-American selection suddenly faced many questions. Little did opt to return for his senior season, but that was before everything with COVID-19 went down.

And on Thursday he officially became the 100th FBS player — and the first Stanford player — to opt out of the upcoming season.

Again, it’s unclear whether or not the Stanford football team will take the field this spring. But it is clear that Little will certainly not be doing so.

Next: Stanford and Cal football seasons canceled with recent Pac-12 announcement

It will always be a case of what could’ve been with Walker Little’s Stanford career. But at least the Cardinal were able to enjoy two years of stellar play from their former five-star recruit.

Although we all wish it would’ve been more.

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